DIY Kid Project: Healthy American Flag Cookie

I love summer. School’s out and the kids are running around everywhere. When Fourth of July hits, I’m thrilled that the season is in full swing. See, I lived up north my entire life, so I’ve cherished the warm summer weather after months of being stuck inside. Even with the heat, I’ve found happiness by puddle jumping, diving in pools and buying treats from the ice cream truck. You see, I’m still a kid at heart. I love glow-in-the dark necklaces, patriotic songs and fireworks, so patriotic holidays bring a smile to my face.

Now that I’m a mother, I share my holiday spirit with my family by decorating the house together, choreographing our own parades and leading a kiddie DIY project such as this healthy American flag cookie. I’m very proud when I can trick my 7-year old into thinking a healthy snack is cookie-licious. 

50 Thoughtful Gift Ideas & Gestures for a Friend in Need

You get the phone call or email that a friend has just been diagnosed with [insert crappy diagnosis here] and you don’t know what to do. Do you call? If you call, what do you say? You opt not to call because:

1. You aren’t sure you should know.
2. You don’t know what you would say because you haven’t been in their shoes.
3. Or your friend must be swamped and you don’t want to bother her.

So, how then do you help a sick friend?

Tips for a Healthy Road Trip & Family Vacation

Have you ever come home from vacation nearly 10-pounds heavier than you were before you left? Did you give yourself the “I’m on Vacation” approval to eat anything at anytime? I’ve been there and done that. Ate gluttonously for weeks, then returned home with little motivation to eat better and exercise. Now my daily diet isn’t about losing weight and looking pretty, it’s about being well. Nearly two years ago, on my first real vacation after I started eating clean, I challenged myself to enjoy my vacation while maintaining my healthy lifestyle. I also gave some thought on how to help my family indulge, just not excessively.

To Drink or Not to Drink? Quick Findings on Wine & Health

Now that I’m waving the clean eating flag, I have found many substitutions to satisfy sweet and savory cravings. However, I’m holding on dearly to my one splurge – red wine. Ask health professionals, doctors and super-fit friends their take on alcohol and you will find mixed reviews. In an effort to feel good about my wine tasting hobby and clarify some of the information on wine and health, here are my key findings.

Inspire Kids to Eat Veggies with Gardening Fun

When I was a little girl I used to garden aka pick weeds out of our vegetable patch. The constant swarming of mosquitos around my head on humid days in the garden made me less than a fan. It took years for me to ever consider growing my own plants, let alone food. Almost three years ago, I started researching the role nutrition plays in healing and preventing disease and found that my clean eating role models all garden. I wanted to try it again. However, I knew I needed to figure out growing food on my terms. My goal was to make it fun and not time-consuming so that my son would be inspired to eat more vegetables. 

We Can Choose Joy

We all have the power of choice. As hard as it might be at times, we can choose to wake up in the morning and be in a good mood. Despite bad weather, a burnt breakfast or any other seemingly annoying thing, we can choose to not let it bring down our day.

I thought I knew how to choose joy. After all, I did it in the hardest moments of my life. Throughout my first and second diagnosis with breast cancer, I smiled and handled myself with grace. I found a way to focus on fun despite the hardship. And I learned it from a wonder woman of positive spirit, Mary Ann. On one of my toughest days, just hours after being diagnosed as a 31-year old breast cancer patient, Mary Ann came to me. A kind-hearted and super-souled woman, she guided me through those first six months, helping me understand the intense physical and emotional toll of cancer. She assured me that even as a newlywed cancer patient, I could be happy. I listened. And I was.